When I was a little kid one of my favorite pastimes playing connect the dots. I almost always knew what image was going to appear, but it was so much fun and was a passion of mine. Perhaps that is why, as an adult it is still my favorite pastime...I LOVE CONNECTING THE DOTS.
I generally fancy myself somewhat of an intellectual, but I am blonde, no joke, and there are times when the most closely positioned dots are not connected in my brain. For instance, church and politics. I mean, there is plenty of chatter and discussion between church goers but very little, if any at the pulpit. I would assume that if you go to a Christian Church, one that follows the precepts of the Bible then you are filled (mostly) in a room of Conservatives. A Catholic Church is about half and half and, well a Unity Church is full of a bunch of Progressive, Liberal Democrat heathens.
That being said, it is understandable why the Catholics won't discuss politics at the pulpit, with their non-partisan patrons, but the Evangelicals and even those heathens? Where is the boldness and the courage to guide your flock? And I am speaking of the Evangelicals, the Bible believing, God fearing Church! After all there are so many verses in the Bible regarding politics, government and how populations should be "ruled." For goodness sakes, the Catholic Church was born out of politics...that BIG, POWERFUL ORGANIZATION!
And then it hit me! If a Church who claims non-profit 501 c3 status is prohibited by Federal law to endorse or condemn any political candidate or they risk losing their tax-free status, they are going to shut the heck up! I found this little gem on Wikipedia,
"In 1954 then Senator Lyndon B. Johnson was running for re-election to the U.S. Senate. In order to neutralize opposition from two nonprofit groups who accused him of being a communist, Johnson introduced an amendment to the Internal Revenue Service code–the Johnson Amendment–which prohibited non-profit groups from endorsing political candidates. This legislation had far reaching effects not only on non-profits, but churches, synagogues, and other houses of worship. Before enactment of the Johnson Amendment, religious leaders were free to endorse or oppose candidates for office. Churches registered as 501(c)(3) organizations under the tax code are subject to revocation of their tax-exempt status should the IRS rule that they violated the political speech prohibition.
Interesting! I'll have to do some research into who those "two nonprofit groups" were, but that is for another time. So, in 2008 a bunch of pissed off pastors with some courage decided to pick a day (Oct. 2nd) to show their civil disobedience to the Johnson Amendment which restricted their freedom of speech. And on that day, every year since 2008 those who are brave enough, SPEAK OUT to their congregation. WHO KNEW? I sure as heck didn't!
So basically, it all boils down to pastors being afraid of losing their tax-exempt status if they speak their political mind. But in Feb. of 2017, Steve Scalise introduced a bill called The Free Speech Fairness Act which would again allow churches to be BOLD in their convictions. The bill sat languishing on, um...on Capitol hill, cause it's only a bill, sitting there on Capitol hill...it seems however that Scalise reintroduced this The Free Speech Fairness Act Feb. 4th of 2021 where it will most likely languish longer. After all, just imagine if churches held the same ability to free speech and POWER as the Teachers Unions!
So there you have it!